Richard A. Stoloff
Jul
24
2019

Teen Driving Accidents and Parental Liability

 

Teen Drivers

Do you have a new teenage driver? Have you properly instructed them about driving safety? It’s normal for all parents to be worried when their youngster is first learning how to drive. On top of safety concerns, parents must also assume all legal and financial liability for children who are on the road. 

Below we’ll discuss the details and statistics behind teenage driving trends and talk about the legal liability parents assume. 

Facts About Teen Driving

Throughout 2016, an average of six teenage drivers (aged 16-19) were involved in a fatal car accident every day. Why are so many minors involved in accidents? Here are the top causes: 

  • Inexperience 
  • Easily distracted 
  • Texting and driving 
  • Speeding 
  • Intoxication 
  • Failing to wear a seatbelt 

As a parent, it’s natural to want to protect your teenager from these risks. At the same time, becoming confident at driving takes time, practice and sometimes mistakes. The best way to avoid the common causes of teenage accidents is to educate your child and be a good role model. It’s important to take the time to drive with your child for practice sessions often as they begin learning the skill. 

Legal Precedents that Establish Accident Liability to Teen’s Parents

Compared to all other age groups, teenagers are much more prone to causing accidents. If a teenager causes an accident, then their parents will likely be held legally liable. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • Parents usually agree to assume liability when they sign a child’s driver’s license application 
  • Negligent entrustment 
  • Vicarious Liability 

Some states ask parents to assume liability by making them sign a waiver when the minor child seeks out a driver’s license. Negligent entrustment occurs when parents allow a child to drive when they know, or should have reasonably known, that they were a danger on the road. For example, a parent shouldn’t let a new driver who has had multiple accidents out on the road at night or during rush hour. 

Vicarious liability happens when the teen driver is acting under the authority of the parent. That means that a parent can be held liable when the teen is in an accident while the parent has control over the teen’s driving. This theory is usually applicable because the parent owns the vehicle and the child resides with them. 

Contact a Linwood Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Parental Liability Case in New Jersey or Pennsylvania

Were you injured as a result of a teenage driving accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey? Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to protect your rights. The skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard A. Stoloff represent car accident victims in Atlantic City, Galloway Township, Linwood, Philadelphia, and throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call 609.957.6810 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 605 New Road, Linwood, NJ 08221, as well as offices in 1500 JFK Blvd, Suite 520, Philadelphia, PA, 19102.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly. 

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